CORVALLIS, Ore. - Fishery management programs designed to benefit Pacific salmon have failed to prevent their decline and have caused greater uncertainty for salmon, their ecosystems and the people who depend upon them. So what is to be done about this knotty problem?
A new book from the Oregon State University-based Oregon Sea Grant program, "Pathways to Resilience: Sustaining Pacific Salmon in a Changing World," explores the radical approach of strengthening salmon resilience.
"Strengthening salmon resilience will require expanding habitat opportunities for salmon populations to express their maximum life-history variation," said Dan Bottom, a NOAA Fisheries researcher and one of the book's authors and editors.
Salmon exhibit a wide variety of life history traits, Bottom says, including differences in migration timing, duration of estuary rearing and size at ocean entry. "The habitat connections that sustain diverse salmon life histories also provide diverse social and economic opportunities for people, whose life styles and livelihoods depend on healthy watersheds."
Joe Cone, assistant director of Oregon Sea Grant, says the book's 11 peer-reviewed articles "represent the most-forward thinking about resilience and Pacific salmon collected to date." Cone, author of a 1995 book on salmon decline, "A Common Fate," believes the new book "points to new ways we may consider and interact with this iconic fish."
"Pathways to Resilience" will be of interest to those active in fisheries, Cone said, as well as to policymakers and anyone interested in the resilience of other ecological and social systems.
Jim Lichatowich, onetime Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife salmon official and author of "Salmon without Rivers: A History of the Pacific Salmon Crisis," said the "ideas in 'Pathways to Resilience' are important guides toward a different and sustainable relationship between salmon and humans."
The 392-page, full-color book features a prologue by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. The book was edited by Bottom, Kim Jones of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Charles Simenstad of the University of Washington, Court Smith of Oregon State University and Rick Cooper of Oregon Sea Grant.
Copies of Pathways to Resilience may be ordered for $34.95 each (plus shipping and handling) online at marketplace.oregonstate.edu or by calling Sea Grant Communications at 541-737-4849. The book is also available at the OSU Beaver Store, 2301 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Ore.
Pathways to Resilience was published by Oregon Sea Grant and printed with assistance from the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the U.S. Geological Survey.
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Dan Bottom, 541-758-7789